Ishrat Jahan case: The officers discharged by the court are IPS officer GL Singhal, retired cop Tarun Barot and SRPF commando Anaju Chaudhari.
A special CBI court on Wednesday discharged the last three remaining accused in the alleged fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan. The officers discharged by the court are IPS officer GL Singhal, retired cop Tarun Barot and SRPF commando Anaju Chaudhari. In the same case, former IG DG Vanzara, PP Pandey, and NK Amin were discharged earlier.
According to The Indian Express, the CBI had not appealed against the discharge of four other officers earlier and this was cited as a ground for the discharge of the last three accused in the case. The IR reports that special CBI judge VR Raval also noted that “prima facie, there was nothing on record to suggest” that Ishrat Jahan, and the four others who were killed “were not terrorists.”
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In May 2019, a special CBI court had discharged Vanzara and Amin, who were also accused in the same case. The order was based on the discharge applications filed by the officers after the Gujarat government refused to grant sanction to the CBI to prosecute them. During the order, the judge said that since the state government did not sanction their prosecution, their discharge applications were allowed and proceedings against them would be dropped.
As per section 197 of the CrPC, the government’s sanction is necessary for the prosecution of a public servant for an act done as part of the official duty.
Ishrat Jahan, a 19-year-old from Mumbai, was killed by the Gujarat Police in an encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004. Along with her, three others Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed by the Gujarat Police. The police claimed that Isharat and three killed were LeT operatives involved in a plot to assassinate the then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.
However, various human rights bodies questioned the facts and sequence of the operation, terming it ‘fake’.